Friday, April 10, 2009

Obama's Smart Grid Will Weaken US Electric Grid Security

Have foreign spies hacked into the US electrical grid? Could they disable large portions of it, or even all of it, if they wanted to? Seems likely according to recent reports, and the Obama Administration will only make it worse with the proposed "Smart Grid." "China has denied a report issued yesterday stating that it had penetrated the U.S. electrical grid," according to the International Business Times. IBT also reported this (emphasis added): The report issued by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday [April 8] said Chinese, Russian and other cyber spies had intruded into the electrical grid, leaving behind software programs which could cause damage to the network if activated. This story has a huge "Duh" factor built into it. Just as nobody should have been surprised by the events of September 11, 2001, there should be no surprise that our poorly guarded electrical grid could have been (probably has been) compromised by hostile interests. A professor at Indiana University feels the same way. Fred H. Cate, director of the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research and distinguished professor at the Maurer School of Law (Indiana University), said foreign entities have been attempting to tap into such networks for years, and succeeded on multiple occasions: "The most surprising aspect of recent disclosures about cyberspies having penetrated the U.S. electrical grid is how much the disclosure seems to have surprised policymakers and the press," Cate said. "We have known for years both that foreign governments were attacking the U.S. cyberinfrastructure and that those attacks extended to power and other utilities." (Source) China's government has been busy issuing denials since WSJ ran the story: "The intrusion doesn't exist at all,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu at a press conference Wednesday, according to China’s state media Xinhua. "We hope that the concerned media will prudently deal with some groundless remarks, especially those concerning accusations against China." China, you may recall, is governed by a bunch of sadistic, sociopathic liars who habitually disable YouTube, Google and other sources of freely flowing information. They still hold Tibet and consider the Dalai Lama to be a top enemy of the state. Although China is a major trading partner of ours, they are sworn to destroy the United States. China's denial rings hollow, as does the Russian denial reported by the April 8 Wall Street Journal article: Russian and Chinese officials have denied any wrongdoing. "These are pure speculations," said Yevgeniy Khorishko, a spokesman at the Russian Embassy. "Russia has nothing to do with the cyberattacks on the U.S. infrastructure, or on any infrastructure in any other country in the world." You may recall that Russia is governed by a bunch of sadistic, sociopathic liars who habitually disable sources of freely flowing information and imprison opposition leaders. They would still hold eastern Europe as slave states if they were able to. Although Russia is a major trading partner of ours, they would love to destroy us. So what is our highly inefficient federal government doing about this? Virtually nothing, really. Barack Obama has already has "committed billions of dollars to grid-related projects, including research, development and assessment. The mission is to create efficiencies to lower costs, create savings and allow for better adoption of alternative energy sources." That's according to a report by Thomas Kostigen at But, as Kostigen points out, Obama's "Smart Grid" does not address security issues (emphasis added): Joshua Pennell is chief executive of IOActive, a security services and software assurance firm in Seattle. In a presentation to the Department of Homeland Security, Pennell says the Smart Grid has "inherent security flaws" and could further expose the country to attacks on our critical power infrastructure. His firm conducted industry research and claims that a smart grid could "expose utility companies to possible fraud, extortion attempts, lawsuits or widespread system interruption." In other words, Obama's "Smart Grid" is downright stupid. It will not only not solve current and inherent security problems, it could actually create more. Kostigen continues: Indeed, The Wall Street Journal reported this week that cyber spies already have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could help disrupt the system. The paper alleges these spies operate from Russia and China. It quotes one U.S. official as saying, "If we go to war with them, they will try to turn them on." Then again, if they do turn it on in a pre-emptive move, we would not be able to go to war with them. The bastards could walk right in. Environmentalists would welcome the invaders with chopsticks and open arms. RELATED: China denies hacking America's electrical grid Oncor says its grid is well protected from hackers IU law professor: Power breach troubling, not unexpected Before Grid Hack Reports, NERC Advises Industry on Cyber Assets Chicago News Bench RSS Feed CommieBama Hats and More